Chopin CD by Clara Rodriguez

“The performer’s qualities excel in this representative selection of Chopin’s output.

Clara’s unique style totally captures Chopin’s pianism; she is sufficiently precise and meticulous to happily give way to expression, variety and the aesthetic brilliancy that belong to this music. From the opening of the Third Sonata the perfect control of Chopin’s language is felt, in the chiaroscuro which navigates through the two Mazurkas, in the highly sensitive rubati of one of the best ever readings of the Fourth Ballade, in the freedom and fluency of the scales and melismas of the Nocturne Op. 62 No 1, in the just gradation of tone that takes us to the outburst of chords in the Barcarolle Op. 60, my favorite piece of the CD. There is a careful and abundant atmospheric offering in the piece that closes the recital, the Polonaise-fantaisie Op. 61. Rodríguez adds to the Polish eloquence reflective passages, density, and mellowness of tint. All constructed with feminine delicacy.”

Einar Goyo Ponte. El Nacional. Caracas

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“South American Belle” A portrait of Clara Rodriguez by Bill Newman

Image“This whole business of placing a concert pianist in a special category may spell taboo to piano buffs, but the thoroughly vivacious Venezuelan-born Clara Rodriguez has several unusual slants to her artistry. And a growing number of appetizing programmes, all containing intriguing titles to whet people’s appetites and dissuade them from returning home afterwards…When I first heard her play it was at the Purcell Room of London’s South Bank…the challenge was there to create unusual colour contrasts between the usual classical fare of Liszt, in his famous B minor Sonata, and some exotic output of Moises Moleiro and Federico Ruiz, both represented on Nimbus CDs. Gorgeously dressed to match the occasion, Rodriguez’s sensuous playing did everything to vitalize the constant admiration of senior music critic G. Crankshaw, and brought forth much praise from my fond colleague, Phyllis Sellick.

The Liszt on this occasion was persuasively different to artists unleashing tonal forces, their portentous architectural exaggerations pummelling the listener’s senses into a state of nullified submission. It was reflective and tender, each new subject and harmonic strand treated with natural respect, and a visionary understanding of their correct place within the whole. One didn’t require to express plaudits following it, but just to give thanks for revealing the music’s inner message…”

Clara Rodriguez at Wigmore Hall

“Clara Rodriguez again filled the Wigmore Hall on 27 June and the quality of
the performance made this seem unsurprising.

While producing the most
beautiful and rich piano tones,

her Albéniz pieces were romantically played, stressing the harmonic adventures (Almería), elusive reverie
(Evocación) and making us aware of the echoes of ancient Andalusian cante
hondo (EL Albaicín). The Venezuelan songs and dances were piquant, lively
and engagingly played…a commanding performance of the Chopin Ballade No 4
Op. 52 as well as the Allegro maestoso of the Sonata Op. 58 No 3 with a
fuller response to the very different characters of the Molto vivace and the
Largo. The lyrical beauty of this latter was finely nuanced and in the
closing Presto the rhythm surged most excitingly”
Max Harrison, Musical opinion, London 2008

“Clara Rodrig…

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Clara Rodriguez at the Wigmore

Most of what Clara Rodriguez played to a full Wigmore Hall on 20 December was marked by the sheer beauty of her tone.

Having tuned herself in with the sixth of Mompou’s Cançon i dans she gave a wonderfully clear and precise account of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major K 333. In parallel to this the Polonaise-Fantaisie, one of Chopin’s most rarefied works, was led into with the B major Nocturne Op.62 No 1. This latter, with its long skeins of trills, elaborate decorations and fairly radical harmonic departures, is itself a demanding task yet Clara Rodriguez understood Chopin’s music extremely well…deep and heart felt performances.

This seemed equally true of the South American composers who filled the recital’s second half. Bagatelles by the Argentinian Rosas Cobian were colourful and pianistically resourceful. From Brazil, Villa-Lobos’ Dansa do Indio Branco was in contrast insistently rhythmic, even noisy. It was back to colour and sensitivity in Antonio Lauro’s Canción and Seis por derecho in which Rodriguez’s playing was especially refined. The concluding piece also a Joropo, the most characteristic dance of Venezuela, was the rhythmic Zumba que zumba which is dedicated to the recitalist by Federico Ruiz.”

Max Harrison. Musical Opinion. London